Preview: Lakers host Dwight Howard and visiting Atlanta Hawks

It’s been a little under a month since the last time the Lakers went up against Dwight Howard and his Hawks for the first time this season, a match where the Lakers surprised many, earning their first road win of the season and defeating a then 3-0 Hawks team.

A lot has transpired since then. At the time, the Lakers were in the midst of going through one of the best stretches of the season with a 6-2 record through the next 8 games.

The Hawks, on the other hand, come into tonight with a 7-5 record since the loss against the Lakers. However, they’ve had a nice stretch of victories of which included wins on the road against the Cleveland Cavaliers and at home against the Chicago Bulls.

Something to watch for: The Hawks, who lead the league on steals per game at 9.7, will face a Laker team that’s averaging nearly 16 turnovers a game. That’s far too many, and the team will certainly have to give a better effort of guarding the ball against the spry-hands of the Hawks who will look to exploit this.

This may prove to be all the more tough, as the Lakers come into tonight with the injury bug in full force with players like D’Angelo Russell who recover from a sore left knee, and isn’t expected to return to action any time soon.

Also out for tonight is Julius Randle while Nick Young is expected to start.

With a rough stretch of games behind them and a relatively mild one ahead, getting a win tonight would do well for getting the youngsters’ confidence back in motion.

The game will air at 6:30 PM PST on Spectrum SportsNet and 710 ESPN LA Radio.

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